Jonathan Steele

Jonathan Steele was the Guardian’s Bureau Chief in Washington in the 1970s and in Moscow from 1988 to 1994.

Wanted but Not Welcome

Jonathan Steele, 19 March 2020

Upheaval​ and displacement on the European continent are nothing new. Great movements of people took place between the two world wars and again, on a massive scale, in the aftermath of the second. The emphasis today is largely on forced migration by non-Europeans, yet the anxieties over ‘integration’ which have grown dramatically since the wave of arrivals in the Mediterranean in...

Who started it? Who started the Cold War?

Jonathan Steele, 25 January 2018

More than​ a quarter of a century has elapsed since the Cold War ended and the surprise is that few historians have yet attempted to analyse it from start to finish, even though for two generations it threatened the world with nuclear armageddon. The balance of terror between the superpowers may have seemed to offer reassurance – as if it could last for ever – but that was...

Trouble at the FCO

Jonathan Steele, 28 July 2016

‘Despite​ explicit warnings,’ Chilcot said, introducing his report, ‘the consequences of the invasion were underestimated.’ A good deal of the blame for this has to be laid at the door of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Chilcot listed four possible consequences that many people had identified before the war was launched: the risk of internal strife in Iraq,...

Putin in Syria

Jonathan Steele, 21 April 2016

Flanked​ by his ministers of defence and foreign affairs, Vladimir Putin looked characteristically stern as he went on television on 14 March to announce a significant reduction in Russia’s military presence in Syria. Putin rarely smiles in public but on this occasion he could have been forgiven some inner gloating. In less than six months he had reinvigorated the forces of his ally...

What does China want? China in the Stans

Jonathan Steele, 24 October 2013

The usual view of the ‘stans’, the five states that emerged in Central Asia after the Soviet Union’s collapse, is that they are a potential site of geostrategic rivalry: it is after all the only place in the world where three imperial powers are fighting for control of the same territory. Russia, the most recent external ruler, exploited the area for two centuries; for...

How to Make a Market

John Lloyd, 10 November 1994

A growing school of thought, especially on but not confined to the Left, holds that the reform of Russia and other post-Communist states is being carried out in such a way as to destroy rather...

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After Andropov

John Barber, 19 April 1984

If success in predicting the future is any criterion of analytical accuracy, Sovietology must be among the least exact of social science disciplines. The record of Western specialists on Soviet...

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